Vol 8 No 16 (2018): Varieties of Professionalism in a Globalising World: New Theoretical Perspectives and Analytical Approaches
Open Essays and Researches

Gender Barriers at Work: A Comparison Between Women Train Drivers and Women Garage Mechanics in Spain

Maria del Mar Maira-Vidal
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Published March 12, 2019
Keywords
  • male-dominated occupations,
  • segregation,
  • gender barriers at work,
  • Spanish women train drivers
How to Cite
Maira-Vidal, M. del M. (2019). Gender Barriers at Work: A Comparison Between Women Train Drivers and Women Garage Mechanics in Spain. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 8(16), 167-181. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-23519

Abstract

Occupational segregation persists despite continuous promotion of equal opportunity policies. This article describes various barriers that have stood in the way of women train drivers’ and women motor vehicle mechanics’ entering and remaining in employment. The results are based on case studies of these two occupations in Spain and primarily on the analysis of in-depth interviews of female and male employees in these occupations. The comparison is justified because of the companies’ similarities in terms of underrepresentation and yet their dissimilar organisation in terms of both size and management style. The findings indicate the presence of at least two types of obstacles: 1) explicit barriers related to personnel selection and the material characteristics of workplaces; and 2) implicit barriers associated with attitudes and practices in the relationships between the minority of women workers and the male majority.

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